Tonight we light the 7th candle of Hanukkah.
All throughout this holiday, we have been collecting the ways we actively bring light into our lives, or how we recognize the light. Every night we light one more candle, following the principle of gradually increasing the light (Talmud, Shabbat 21b:5)
The experience of being grateful fills us with light. In the darkest moments, remembering even little things for which we are grateful can help us remember that there is goodness.
The question today is:
This year, for what 7 things are you grateful?
As you compile your list, you might think of specific things (like people for whom you are grateful or a specific experience) or more general things, like good health or the education you have had.
Here are my seven (not in order):
I’m Grateful For Those Who Came Before Us – Wildcat Canyon
We moved to a house that is within walking distance to Alvarado Park and the glorious Wildcat Canyon Regional Park. On our (almost) daily hikes, I am grateful to those who first lived on this land – the Ohlone Native Americans. Wildcat Canyon is filled with endless trails, wild oaks, and bay trees. Every time we walk, I say a prayer of gratitude for all those who maintain the park and to the Italian stonemasons whose work from the Depression-era still exists.
Gratitude: Fulfilling Soulful Work
I am grateful to do spiritual work that serves others and helps them grow into the people they are intended to be. In addition, I appreciate the support of my team so I could publish five ebooks these past few years, one of them being on gratitude! It’s here if you haven’t downloaded it yet. The Hineni community, which I founded and am the spiritual leader of, is filled with spiritual seekers. I am so grateful for the trust they place in me, and in the learning that we do together.
My husband of forty-one years is generous and deeply kind. For all these years we have been a team, from raising our boys, doing countless moves, and embarking on creative projects together. I am grateful to him every day.
Colleagues and study partners
I am grateful to have a wonderful group of colleagues who lift me up with their wisdom and hearts.
Our New Neighborhood
Wow. We lucked out. We have met more friendly neighbors than in any other neighborhood we have lived. Bo is known by name by many (of course.) There is a book group, an email list to share information about safety issues, and such a generous spirit. In addition, the daily sightings of wild turkeys, deer, woodpeckers and neighborhood dogs is an ongoing source of joy.
While I rejected the Judaism of my youth, as a 30-something, I was fortunate to find teachers and guides to the beauty found within Judaism. The tradition is an endlessly exhaustible source of depth and wisdom.
Ben, Josh, and the community of people who helped us move
When we made the decision to move to Northern California, our sons Ben and Josh told us they would do the heavy lifting. My husband Ely and I were blown away by what they actually meant. An entire team descended upon us to help us move, and then unpack. My brother David and his girlfriend Mary Sue drove from Colorado to help. We could not have done this move without Lionel, Jacqui, Kevin, Zach, Mary Ann, and Rivkah.
HONORABLE MENTION: BO!
Now it’s your turn.
This past year, for what 7 things are you grateful?
— Download my latest free Grateful Workbook here.
— I’ll be posting a new question each day with a photo of our precious #Bo, our Labradoodle. For my favorite potato latkes recipe click here. For the Chanukah candle blessings, click here.
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sylvia m conant says
Really? Only 7? Ok here goes. 1. my eyes open in the morning and my cats and I get to say the Modah Ani together.2) I live in a beautiful area where my morning walks can take me to sunrise over the marsh inlet or over the beach or even across the pond on a walk around my little community. 3) I live inside. 4) I eat regular meals 5) I am surrounded by friends, family of choice along with a couple of family members from my biological family who I love and who love me. 6) the pandemic which gave me the Jewish Collaborative which I consider my first family. 7) My relationship to G_d which has grown deeper and more awe inspiring over the years. I am indeed a rich woman. Thank you for these really lovely posts.
There is so much I’m grateful for as we end this year. Definitely one is having you come into my life. The meditations, the wisdom, the poetry have all made such a difference for me. But mostly, your welcoming smile, your voice and the twinkle in your eyes make me feel better on days when I really need a lift that I feel even on the Insight Timer. It’s truly a gift you have.
Rabbi Jill Zimmerman says
You are the sweetest. Rabbi Jill